Opinion: Reno Omokri’s failed gambit

by Abubakar Abdurahman

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It is now pretty simple to understand why Boko Haram has not been stopped. As long as the group continues to slaughter school children and kidnap young girls, this President or his aides can accuse any opponent or critic of being a Boko Haram sponsor and clip their wings.

If there ever were doubts that President Goodluck Jonathan’s aides are taking full advantage of the terrorism in the North East and turning it into political capital, the President’s Special Assistant on New Media, Reno Omokri, has cleared them.

In a low attempt to smear the recently suspended Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Omokri circulated an email to journalists and bloggers suggesting that Sanusi was behind Boko Haram.

The email, which had an attached MS Word document, attempted to tie Sanusi to Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram giving a historical narrative that dates back to 1995 when, it alleges, Sanusi was a student in Khartoum, Sudan, and Osama Bin Laden was a resident of the town.

In the said mail, Omokri, demonstrated very little capacity for research. He committed unpardonable blunders in a lazy attempt to prove that “there has been an increase in the tempo of terrorist activities carried out by the Islamic Terrorist sect, Boko Haram” as a result of Sanusi’s suspension.

But it is not these allegations that caught people’s attention. It is Omokri’s comical attempt to conceal his identify that earned him the hard knocks and blows he is getting on Social Media.

Omokri had sent the unsigned email using a rather curious email address owned by a phony, Wendell Simlin. It didn’t take more than a few clicks to catch him pants down. The “Properties” function on the document revealed that the libellous material was in fact authored by Reno Omokri.

So it came to be revealed that the President’s Special Assistant on New Media was responsible for the hatchet job against Sanusi.

No matter how one looks at this, the matter is serious.

At a time when Nigerians are mourning the senseless slaughter of over 50 secondary students by Boko Haram while they slept in their dormitories, a Presidential aide has chosen to play politics with not just the integrity of a Central Bank Governor but to make unsubstantiated allegations that are capable of sending those concerned to jail for life.

If anything, Omokri’s poor attempt to smear Sanusi illuminates the desperation of this Presidency and its tendency to put the noose of terrorism around the neck of any perceived opponent or critic. We saw this happen during the 2011 elections when the Presidency harmed the Babangida campaign organization with unfounded allegations of terrorism against its Campaign Director-General, Raymond Dokpesi.

It is now pretty simple to understand why Boko Haram has not been stopped. As long as the group continues to slaughter school children and kidnap young girls, this President or his aides can accuse any opponent or critic of being a Boko Haram sponsor and clip their wings.

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This article was published with permission from Telegraph NG 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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